December 27, 2007

Blog 356

So, I got the invitation email to join Blog 365. It’s like NaBloPoMo except it lasts all of 2008 instead of just for one month.

My first thought was “No thanks. I want my blog to be, you know, good.”

I felt that NaBloPoMo (two months in my version) was the opposite of helpful in improving the quality of my blog.

Not that I didn’t enjoy NaBloPoMo, but I was definitely relieved when it was over. Not because it was tough to post every day. I could easily post a journal-type entry every day, or a link to some news stories. But even when my blog entries aren’t the best written or best edited, I like to post based on inspiration rather than obligation. My blogging muse is very fickle; the hint of obligation frightens him away!

According to the archives I posted well over 500 times in 2006. In 2007, even with 2 months of NaBloPoMo, I am at 470 or so. Ironically, it’s quite possible I posted less frequently than I might have otherwise during NaBloPoMo. I definitely had a lot of half-written leftovers that I never posted. I kept them in reserve in fear of “dry days.” The unfortunate truth is that I tended to hold back more interesting posts because I wanted to spend more time on them. Clearly, a posting goal is not helpful to me.

The guidelines for Blog 356 are a bit more relaxed vs. NaBloPoMo. It’s OK to them if you don’t actually post every day — for instance, if you’re away from a computer or internet for more than a day and have to write offline. But they’re still hung up on the chronological thing, requesting that you backdate your posts to reflect the day you actually wrote them. Considering I have a healthy average per day post rate, I could easily backdate. But where’s the fun in that?

Some people can definitely benefit from these challenges. Absentee blog owners everywhere, I’m looking at you. Friends of mine are people I know have interesting stuff to say, and I often wish they would put their fingers to the keyboard and let their thoughts fly.

So I look forward to what you might do, should you decide to ramp up your blogging in 2008. I’ll be posting more often than once a day, but won’t sweat the date on the post. And maybe I’ll do NaBlo next year. But maybe not.

Posted by James at December 27, 2007 11:51 AM
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Thanks for the advice. I considered signing up for Blog 12 but now I'm not sure if I can handle it.

Posted by: Mike at December 27, 2007 1:33 PM

LOL - it wasn't meant to be advice. I have no idea whether daily posting obligations do to other people what they do to me.

Posted by: James at December 27, 2007 1:41 PM

LOL. Yeah. November was tough. I was posting nearly every day for the two months leading up to it. Then, the 'obligation' thing kicked in. I have been WAY less prolific in December than I was in September or October ... and I was in school then, which I'm not now. Go figure.

Nope. While I'll probably do NaBloPoMo next year, I'm definitely not interested in a 365 commitment.

Posted by: Kitten Herder at December 27, 2007 7:46 PM

The obligation of daily posting really wore on me. If I'm in a bad mood, or stressed out, it's best if I stay FAR away from the keyboard.

Posted by: Julie at December 27, 2007 9:50 PM

I've swung completely in the other direction after NaBloPoMo. It definitely made it less fun. I may just be blogged out. I need to find something that works for me, because I have stuff to say, just not the time to say it the way I want.

Posted by: briwei at December 31, 2007 3:18 PM

Blogging can be a lot like other forms of storytelling. It's both about the story and the audience.

But you have to want to blog. And an obligation doesn't make me want to blog any more. Ideas do.

My advice to someone who actually wants to blog more would be to use something like Google Docs or some other means of taking notes and just take notes on all your blog post ideas. Then write, then try to boil the ideas down to the most salient point and post that.

It's work. But you get better at the boiling down part, and then it gets easier. And you can always add details in the comments if your blog is more about communicating to your audience and not necessarily having everything in the original post/essay.

Posted by: James at December 31, 2007 4:27 PM

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